Cavan Biggio’s Blue Jays Tenure Has Come to an End

The Blue Jays traded longtime utility player Cavan Biggio to the Dodgers on Wednesday in exchange for a minor league pitcher.

Cavan Biggio of the Los Angeles Dodgers takes batting practice prior to the game against the Texas Rangers at Dodger Stadium.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 12: Cavan Biggio #6 of the Los Angeles Dodgers takes batting practice prior to the game against the Texas Rangers at Dodger Stadium on June 12, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

The Toronto Blue Jays put a bit of a jolt through their lineup late last week, calling up infielder Spencer Horwitz to bring some offense to a batting order that has been inconsistent from the get-go.

The left-handed hitter was one of the top bats on the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons at the time and was leading the International League in doubles, so the move made sense.

In a corresponding transaction, the Blue Jays designated utility player Cavan Biggio for assignment – a decision that stunned a fanbase that has watched his lefty bat swinging on the roster since 2019. A few days later, Toronto finalized a deal to send him to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for right-handed pitcher Braydon Fisher.

Fisher, a former fourth-round pick from 2018, has spent the season split between Double-A and Triple-A, working out of the bullpen. To make room for Biggio on the active roster, the Dodgers optioned infielder Miguel Vargas.

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An Original Member of the Blue Jays Core

Amid a rebuild, Biggio earned the call to the big leagues a season after Danny Jansen and in the same year as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette. He was sandwiched between the two star rookies in a season when plenty of new Blue Jays faces were getting their feet wet at the big league level.

Over time, Biggio’s role with the club dwindled, as injuries and poor performance saw him fall behind others on the depth charts and outside pieces were brought in to handle more of the workload.

His two best seasons in the big leagues came during his rookie year and the following season; the Notre Dame product posted a .240/.368/.430 slash line and 116 OPS+ through 159 games across both campaigns. His keen eye at the plate saw him draw 112 walks during those two seasons, and he possessed some sneaky pop at times, belting 33 doubles and 24 home runs as well.

Over the next few years, Biggio’s eye at the plate started to decline, and his walk rate has not sat above 13% since 2021, a dramatic fall from the 16.5% and 15.5% rates he put up in his first two seasons.

While his plate discipline remained above average, his batting average fell closer to the Mendoza line, and injuries cut into his playing time and may have affected his performance. The Texas native has posted an OPS+ below 100 in each of the past four seasons.

What set Biggio apart from most on the Blue Jays roster was his ability to play numerous positions. The 29-year-old took a turn at every spot on the field (except for pitcher and catcher) for at least one inning over the past six seasons.

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He spent most of his time at second base, where he played 1930 innings, but he also spent plenty of time in right field and at third base, where he was briefly given the reins following Guerrero’s move across the diamond but struggled to live up to expectations at the hot corner.

With the emergence of Davis Schneider and the presence of other utility-type players on the roster (Ernie Clement and Isiah Kiner-Falefa), Biggio’s role with the club was starting to decrease. He wasn’t seeing the field with much consistency or regularity, making him expendable.

Instead of DFA’ing Clement or Daniel Vogelbach, the club turned to Biggio. With his 5-plus years of service time, he likely would have rejected an outright assignment to the minor leagues and decided to test the open waters, but he ultimately did not have to make that choice.

As of Wednesday, Biggio is a member of a new organization: the Los Angeles Dodgers.

In under a week, Biggio went from a stacked AL East division to another stacked division in the NL West. This time, however, he is playing for one of the top teams in the league; the Dodgers have a comfortable 6.5-game lead over the Padres in their division.

The former Blue Jays utility player joins a Los Angeles squad chock-full of talent, with Shohei Ohtani swinging from the DH spot and a host of talented players up and down the lineup, from Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, and Will Smith to Biggio’s former teammate Teoscar Hernández.

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The Dodgers will presumably deploy Biggio’s lefty bay against right-handed pitching, while making the most of his defensive versatility across the diamond. He will likely see more time in the outfield, given the current crop of veterans on the infield.

For now, it seems as if Biggio has landed on his feet with a top club and could have the last laugh in the matter, given the stacked Dodgers lineup.

Losing a player like Biggio is a strong kick to any diehard Blue Jays fan. It is reminiscent of the rebuilding days, watching a prospect work his way up the minor league ladder and into the big leagues over the years.

While he may not have panned out to be a core member of the Blue Jays like fellow sons of former big leaguers Guerrero and Bichette, a move to the West Coast might benefit Cavan Biggio in the long run as he looks to regain the 2019 form that put him on the map in the first place.